Posts Tagged ‘Brazil protests’

world-cupChildren watch the World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia in an alley at the Mangueira slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12 2014.

A World Cup for whom?

For the poor of the slums that will continue to be exploited and humiliated even after all the promises of politicians and rulers that their lives will improve after the World Cup?
For the black and the poor who have no money to buy expensive tickets to be able to cheer for their national team in stadiums built with money earned from the taxes he pays to the government on a abusive daily basis?
For the poor who were expelled from their homes and driven to distant places of the urban areas where foreign delegations will be headquartered?
For these same poor who were expelled from where they lived and received a derisory compensation and after the World Cup will see the places where they lived being given to the property speculation that will make millions?
For the seller of popsicles that will get some lucrative weeks before returning to the misery that ever lived?
Or for the politicians that profited from fraudulent bids and overpriced works, and pocketed much of the values ​​of these works by diverting funds without a modicum of control and inspection by government agencies?
Or for contractors and economic groups who carried out construction and reforms of stadiums and facilities with resources financed by the government and then will administer all this heritage for decades?
Or for the Brazilian media (I say Globo) that will monopolize the information about the World Cup and increase its audience during broadcasts of games and profit with sponsors?


Note the below photo of Brazilian fans during the opening match of the World Cup between Brazil and Croatia. Do you see any black in the stands? World Cup, the FIFA big circus for the joy of the white hegemony.


A World Cup for whom?

Text by Erik Vasconcelos from Jamaica Observer.

According to Leonardo Dupin on journalist Juca Kfouri’s blog, the Minas Arena consortium will have the right to operate the Minerao soccer stadium in Belo horizonte for 25 years after their investment of about $300 million, $180 million of which was kindly lent by Brazil’s state development bank, BNDES. The agreement guarantees that the Government of the state of Minas Gerais will cover any losses in their business up to $1.7 million. In 2013, the consortium had losses every month of the year and the State footed the bill, giving them over $20 million to secure corporate profits.

The Government is generally not as straightforward in trying to protect corporations from losses. It seems that this time, the State didn’t try to be very roundabout and just funnelled money directly from the pockets of the tax-paying poor.

The consortiums that control other World Cup stadiums have similar sweetheart deals, with “investment” money generously coming from BNDES, the largest tool of upward wealth transfer in Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff appears frequently on TV to assure us that the total spent on stadiums was “only” $4 billion, whereas total overall is around $11.5 billion, most of which should actually be “recouped” by the public, because they were “loans”.

Rouseff forgot to account for subsidies and concession contracts. She also forgot to account for evictions and urban make-up projects intended to hide our poor from fearful tourists. Not to mention the cost of the police state that has wreaked havoc since the World Cup and the Olympics were announced to be held in Brazil.

Protests and criticisms have abounded, however, culminating on May 15 in the International Day of World Cup Resistance (15M). People took to the streets in many Brazilian capitals, accompanied by teachers, public transportation workers and, in Pernambuco, police strikes. Also worthy of note was the manifestation of the Homeless Workers Movement, comprised of people who have the biggest reasons to complain: The World Cup caps off a model of urban development that evicts the poor from the city centres and pushes the value of their labour even lower.

The Government, as always, tries to paint the Worker’s Party (PT) administration as the halcyon days of never-ending development, but the honeymoon is over. No matter who conquers the World Cup, the real winner is corporate capitalism.

Nothing illustrates this better than the gentrification of Maracana stadium, once a hub for the people, but now a place attended exclusively by the elite, where fans are supposed to watch the game sitting down, taking off your jersey is forbidden, fireworks are “unsafe”, and the flags you take are strictly regulated according to FIFA’s rulebook. If not even soccer is like we used to do it, we can only ask the biggest question from 15M: World Cup for whom?


Recommended reading:

Earlier on Thursday, June 12th, a demonstration called “If Do Not Have Rights, Will not Have Cup” in support of Metro employees laid off because of the strike that lasted almost a week in the capital of the state of São Paulo and against the hosting of the World Cup, took the chaos to the east side of the town. Again, the fascist government of Geraldo Alckmin sent the riot police to dialogue with the protesters with their usual diplomacy. Inside the unfinished stadium Corinthians Arena, President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA President Joseph Blatter were praised by the crowd with shouts of  “Dilma go f*ck yourself” and “Blatter go f*ck yourself”. Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull sang for an unmotivated public. A very poor opening ceremony for the billions of dollars of taxpayer thrown in the trash. Read more here.

Credits for the photos: Fabio Braga/Folhapress, Nelson Antoine/Associated Press, Ernesto Rodrigues/Folhaspress.






6Posters with photos of workers who died in the works of stadiums are seen during the demonstration near the Carrão station on the east side of São Paulo, on the opening day of the 2014 World Cup.







In Rio de Janeiro, the city that will host the final match and the closing ceremony of the World Cup, protesters and police clashed. Several protesters were arrested and some were injured. Leia mais aqui.

Rio de Janeiro:rio-de-janeiro

As in Porto Alegre, in the south, where there was turmoil and destruction (read more here), several protests against the host of the World Cup promise to shake the main cities in Brazil in the next days.

CNN journalists were injured during protests

Two journalists from CNN were injured during anti-Cup protest nearby Subway Carrão in São Paulo. CNN correspondent Shasta Darlington and CNN producer Barbara Arvanitidis were slightly injured while covering the protest in Sao Paulo, on this Thursday. A tear gas canister fired by police hit the team. Darlington suffered a minor cut on her arm and Arvanitidis was hit on her wrist when they broadcast the protest live for CNN. The video is available on the CNN website here. They received medical care in an emergency room of Vila Alpina, east of São Paulo, and were released. Protesters were trying to march toward Corinthians Stadium, site of today’s opening World Cup match.


Some images are better than thousand words. It is a tradition for the Brazilian people to decorate the streets of major cities with drawings, colors and themes in the years of the World Cup, but this time the themes are different from the past editions of the tournament.

Grafitti throughout Brazil are expressing dissatisfaction of millions of Brazilians with the World Cup and FIFA. The drawings mentioning removals of poor people from their homes, the corruption of Brazilian politicians in partnership with the organization and the precarious situation of basic services such as health compared to the sumptuous government spending on the tournament.

Already are classic images as the boy crying for food while it only has a single ball on the plate, signed by painter and graffiti artist Paul Ito and the train with gigantic inscription “Fuck Fifa”. Ito is one of the most active names in criticism Cup.

Cup for who?

At next, some of great graffiti against FIFA and the World Cup.































smartphoneSince june 2013 I’ve been following the work of independent media, especially the work of the boys from Media Ninja. When protests broke out in June and July 2013 in Brazil and no TV station or radio had the courage to tell the truth about the protests, preferring to criminalize demonstrators and social movements, Media Ninja became the main vehicle for unofficial information in the country with their core journalism across several capitals, a smartphone on hand to broadcast live over the Internet and a lot of courage to stand in the front line gaining shitload of police, tear gas bombs, pepper spray and rubber bullets, and still being arrested by the police just because they were broadcasting the demonstrations.

NINJA – abbreviation for Independent Narratives Journalism and Action – has just signed a partnership with Oximity platform and launched a website that is a mix of activism and collaborative journalism to keep the Media Ninja original proposal but it will allow its representatives and contributors to go further away. For my part, I wish all the success in the world for you Ninjas. I’ll be watching the coverage on the new platform with the same interest that I followed the live broadcasts of all you on TwitCasting last year.

We are all Ninja.


Read this great article by Bianca Jagger, reposted from the new Ninja’s site on Follow Media Ninja on Twitter:

The World Cup Exposes Brazil’s Injustices

by Bianca Jagger, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

On June 12th the World Cup kicks off in Brazil; the country has been beset by protest in the run up to the tournament.

Last year up to a million people demonstrated across Brazil: protesting the vast expense of the World Cup, calling for better public services and an end to corruption. On June 3rd (​ews/world-latin-amer​ica-27691985), the police were accused of heavy handedness as protestors gathered outside the World Cup Stadium in Goiania, during a friendly football match between Brazil and Panama. The demonstrators condemn the 15 billion dollars spent on the tournament which could have gone towards social services and improving living standards for the poor of Brazil. It’s the latest in a long line of demonstrations.

But now Brazil’s poor favela residents and the indigenous and tribal people have joined forces. On May 28th (​ews/world-latin-amer​ica-27598932) in Brasilia, 1,500 residents of the favelas, indigenous people, students and many other Brazilians from all walks of life took to the streets, gridlocking them for hours. Some occupied the roof of the Brazilian Congress, including members of the indigenous Guarani tribe who carried banners saying, ‘Guarani resiste, Demarcacao ja!’ ‘The Guarani are resisting. Yes to demarcation!’

1Brasilia: Indigenous confront police, credit MEDIANINJA.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd. One policeman was reportedly shot in the leg with an arrow.

At first glance the inhabitants of Brazil’s urban slums, the favelas, and the indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon may not seem to have a common cause. But both groups face violence with impunity from police and the military, poverty, land insecurity, neglect by the authorities. The Brazilian government is brushing them under the carpet.

On June 9th the legendary Chief Raoni Metuktire and his nephew Chief Megaron Txucarramãe, members of the Mebengôkre Kayapó tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, will arrive in London to gather support for the Kayapó and for all the tribes across Brazil in their struggle to protect their ancestral lands and way of life. They are urging the Brazilian government to demarcate the region known as Kapôt-Nhinore, which is sacred to the Kayapó. They will be holding a press conference on June 9th – I will be there to speak in their support, as Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation (BJHRF).

2Chief Raoni walking away from protests in Brasilia, May 27th, credit Maira Irigaray, Amazonwatch.

It is a critical time for indigenous rights in Brazil. The Kayapó, and all the indigenous peoples of the Amazon are threatened; by mega-dams, illegal mining, logging, occupation by settlers and ranchers, and by companies and large corporations, by proposed legal reform and constitutional amendments which if allowed to go ahead will strip the tribes of their territorial rights, and endanger their livelihoods and cultures.

Throughout my life I have campaigned on behalf of indigenous peoples all over the world: in South America, Asia and Africa. I have witnessed the suffering of many of these ancient tribes, murdered, threatened, abused, forced from their homes and deprived of their way of life. Millions of indigenous people have become refugees in their own land and we don’t know how many thousands have lost their lives.

The values of indigenous people have shaped my relationship to the earth, and our responsibilities towards her. During my thirty years of campaigning for human rights, social justice and environmental protection, I have campaigned on behalf of many indigenous tribes in Latin America: the Miskitos and Mayangna in Nicaragua, the Yanomami, the Guarani, and the Surui Paiter in Brazil, the Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa, and Huaorani tribes in Ecuador, and the Quechua in Peru. I learned from their wisdom, and also from their courage. Traditional indigenous cultures use natural resources sustainably: forests, grasslands, rivers and wildlife, and preserve biodiversity. Protecting the rights of indigenous peoples is essential to our survival and that of the planet. Over and over again, indigenous peoples have been proven to be the best custodians of biodiversity in their ancestral lands.

4Tear gas bomb over protesters, Brasilia May 27th 2014, credit MEDIANINJA.

Brazil’s 1988 constitution recognises that the Indians have an ‘Original’ and inalienable right to occupy and use their traditional lands. If it can be shown that the tribe historically occupied and used that area of land, it is theirs by right – it should become demarcated land.

Kapôt-Nhinore has already been surveyed by the indigenous agency FUNAI for demarcation, but the process has been stalled by bureaucracy, and is threatened by proposed changes to Brazil’s demarcation laws and constitution.

In the past Brazil had an average of thirteen demarcations per year. Under President Dilma Rousseff this number has sunk to three a year. The demarcation process has been crippled by an unrelenting barrage of legislative proposals from Congressmen representing large agribusiness, mining corporations and the dam industry, designed to wrest the land from the indigenous tribes and open it to development. It is unconscionable. I urge President Rousseff to halt the Proposed Constitutional Amendment (http://amazonwatch.o​rg/news/2013/1001-ma​ssive-indigenous-rig​hts-movement-launche​s-across-brazil) (PEC215) which would further delay the process for demarcations and claims: and would result in few, if any further demarcations being approved.

Brent Millikan (http://www.internati​​/260/amazonian-dams-​protested-on-interna​tional-human-rights-​day) of International Rivers states, ‘constitutional amendment PEC 215 would transfer authority for demarcation of indigenous lands from the Executive branch to the Congress.’ Demarcation would become a political decision; power of the Executive being transferred to the Legislature, an abuse of the separation of powers, a foundation stone of the Constitution. Since the Congress is today dominated by the Bancada Ruralista – the large landowners’ lobby – it is highly unlikely that any demarcation would be granted. Even if it were, finding time for Congress to debate each demarcation would mean even more delays introduced into the process. Because the change would effectively be retrospective, Congress would also acquire the power to reduce or reverse territories (TI’s) which have already been demarcated.

5Indigenous being treated after gas exposure, May 27th. Credit MEDIANINJA.

I urge President Rousseff to halt PEC 215 and the other proposed amendments to the Brazilian Constitution and laws which are eroding the indigenous peoples’ right to their ancestral lands. Some proposals would open up indigenous territories for mineral and oil extraction – mining companies have already begun to lodge claims to the territory. Some would not only permit, but effectively force the indigenous people to allow cattle ranching and agriculture on their land. If allowed to go ahead, these changes could destroy the forest and traditional lives of the Kayapó and many other tribes across Brazil.

I call on the Brazilian government to enforce the Kayapó’s rights to their land, which are enshrined in the 1988 Constitution. I appeal for protection for the hundreds of tribes in the Brazilian Amazon who are continually threatened by landowners, illegal mining, logging, occupation by settlers and ranchers, and by companies and large corporations which continue to trade in produce from illegally farmed crops on indigenous territory, by reckless development projects which threaten their lives and livelihoods. Otherwise indigenous people will continue to be murdered, abused and pushed off their ancestral land.

Among the most monstrous of these projects is the Belo Monte Dam, which is under construction on the Xingu River in the Brazilian state of Pará, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. Belo Monte will be more than a dam; it is a megadam, the third largest in the world, which will displace 20,000 people and change the Amazon basin forever. It is a grave human rights violation and an environmental crime

I have campaigned against Belo Monte for many years. In March 2012 I went on a fact finding mission to the Xingu. Construction on the dam had then just begun. I travelled down the Xingu River in a small boat. I was accompanied by my courageous friend Antonia Melo, co-ordinator of Xingu Vivo (http://www.xinguvivo​, a collective of local NGOs opposed to Belo Monte, and Ruy Marques Sposati. We saw the great red scarred coffer dams, the beginnings of Belo Monte, rearing out of the river. I met with indigenous leaders, with local communities, NGOs, government officials, extractavists – and the Bishop of the Xingu, Dr Erwin Krautler, whose concern and care for the people affected by Belo Monte was evident. I was distraught by the suffering I witnessed in the area. I published my findings in a report on the Huffington Post: The Belo Monte Dam, an Environmental Crime (http://www.huffingto​​ger/the-belo-monte-d​am-an-env_b_1614057.​html). I urge you to read it. The people of the Xingu need our support.

And Belo Monte is only part of the plan: on 25 April 2014 it was disclosed in Lima, Peru that 412 dams are planned (http://www.theguardi​​ndes-to-the-amazon/2​014/may/06/more-400-​dams-amazon-headwate​rs) across the Amazon. 256 of them are in Brazil, 77 in Peru, 55 in Ecuador, 14 in Bolivia, six in Venezuela, two in Guyana, and one each in Colombia, French Guyana and Surinam. Five of the six rivers which run through the world’s largest tropical forest will be dammed – and damned. All over Brazil, even now, the Amazon’s waterways are being blocked and diverted. The river system that provides a fifth of the world’s fresh water is being dammed, polluted and fouled up.

3Protesting PEC 215, Credit Maira Irigaray, Amazonwatch.

It is imperative that indigenous rights, including the right to free, prior and informed consent, be respected in places like the Tapajós basin, in the heart of the Amazon, where the Brazilian government plans to construct up to 29 large dams, following the same destructive model as Belo Monte.

To the Kayapó each river, the sky, the rocks, all plants, trees and animals have a spirit. The Xingu River is sacred. At least five dams are planned upstream of Belo Monte. If these dams are built, it will be a grave human rights violation and cause irreparable environmental destruction in the Kayapó lands. Already the Kayapó are seeing the impact of the influx of some of the 100,000 workers and migrants who are flooding into the area, bringing overcrowding, disease, alcoholism, violence and prostitution. Anthropologist Paul Little released a report in April 2014, ‘Mega-Development Projects in Amazonia: A geopolitical and socioenvironmental primer.’ (​e/archivos/publicaci​on/145_megaproyectos​_ingles_final.pdf)

He writes, ‘In 2009 the Kayapó wrote a letter to Electrobras, the parastatal energy company that is partnering with huge construction companies such as Odebrecht, Andrade Gutierrez and Camargo Correa to build mega-dams in the Amazon and elsewhere in Latin America and Africa.’

‘The weight of these socio-environmental impacts is distributed in an extremely unequal manner. The majority of the benefits derived from the construction of mega-development projects accrue to… large multinational corporations, the administrative apparatus of national governments and financial institutions. The majority of negative impacts of these same mega-development projects are borne by indigenous peoples, who suffer from the invasion of their territories, and local communities, which suffer from the proliferation of serious social and health problems.’

‘We do not accept Belo Monte or any other dam on the Xingu,’ they said. ‘Our river does not have a price, our fish that we eat does not have a price, and the happiness of our grandchildren does not have a price. We will never stop fighting: In Altamira, in Brasilia, or in the Supreme Court. The Xingu is our home and you are not welcome here.’

The Brazilian Amazon is one of the wonders of the world. It is critical to survival of the people of Brazil, and people throughout the world. A quarter of all land animal species are found in the Amazon. The rainforest absorbs around 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. It is vital in the race against climate change. I urge President Rousseff to save it, and put a stop to Belo Monte and the other dams.

The plight of the Kayapó illustrates the failure of governments all over the world to protect indigenous peoples and their ancient way of life. The Kayapó have a rich and ancient culture. Their name for themselves, Mebengôkre, means ‘people of the space between waters,’ but the name ‘Kayapó’ was given to them by outsiders. It means ‘those who look like monkeys,’ probably from the traditional ceremonial dance in which the men wear monkey masks. I appeal to the Brazilian government to affirm the Kayapó’s rights to their sacred land in Kapôt-Nhinore, and to do everything in its power to protect them.

President Dilma Rousseff has a choice. I urge her to seize this leadership opportunity, to halt PEC215 and the other unconscionable, unconstitutional amendments and changes to law which will threaten indigenous peoples’ rights to their land across Brazil. If these proposals go ahead, hundreds of tribal cultures may disappear and Brazil will lose an irreplaceable part of its heritage.

Original post here.

I just have more two words to say: F*CK FIFA.

A W E S T R U C K _W A N D E R E R

Art by Brazilian artist Paulo Ito Art by Brazilian artist Paulo Ito

Dave Zirin / The New York Times

ZirinMost people associate FIFA, the organization that oversees international soccer, with the quadrennial joy of the World Cup. But as the 2014 tournament begins next week in Brazil, FIFA is plagued by levels of corruption, graft and excess that would shame Silvio Berlusconi.

Despite the palatial estates, private planes and pompous airs of FIFA’s current leaders, the organization actually has quite humble origins.

FIFA was founded in 1904 in Paris as a simple rule-making committee that aimed to regulate the guidelines for a new, rapidly expanding sport when played between nations. Because it was founded in Paris, the organization took its acronym, FIFA, from the French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. What began as an effort to make sure that practices like punching one’s opponents would not be seen as a legitimate part…

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